Day 133 - February 10, 2006

Chicago was a blast. Jamie Fallon (former employee of Dave Herbig), Shawn McCormick (lynn Herbig's cousin) and Tim Joyce (former White Pass employee and high school friend of Kristin Wilkinson) were all super cool volunteers. Drop off and pick ups each morning and afternoon. Problem? Not for us.! Delays due to hitch hiking? Not with these people. Need to scout ahead? NO problem. That's what these people are like. Incredible talent. That's what they are. I wish they could all move to Skagway. They'd fit in quite nicely. Tim and Jamie would if they could afford it. Did you know that Tim and His wife Katie (former Temsco emp) are expecting? They are. sometime in June. If I'm lucky they're going to hook up with me somewhere west of Madison in about ten days. Owooooooooooooooh!

So, it's back to the old grind though. Carrying a back pack and hitch hiking. bummer for sure but what the heck...I'm in Antioch, Illinois right now...officially about four miles west of town on Illinois 173. I'll walk on over to US 12 tomorrow, then north to Genoa City, Wisconsin then take Highway H to a place called Lake Geneva, then west to Janesville and then north to southern Madison and west toward St. Paul. I have support off and on for the next six days and then nothing until St. Paul.

Minneapolis and the St. Cloud area are like Chicago. Overwhelming support. So many that I won't be able to use them all. After I leave the Minneapolis/St. Paul area I'll be getting back to the wide open spaces. I still have about 360 miles to MSPL and after that another 4,800 or so back to Nome and then Skagpatch. But after MSPL there are only three cities with populations of 40,000 or more I'll be going through. Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Edmonton. Dan Henry from Haines is going to hook up with in mid March. Probable in north western Minnesota or southern Alberta. He's going to drive my pick up down to me. I think I'll be able to find places to park it every day/night for the rest of the trip. It will be like last winters walk to Dawson. Drive ahead 25 miles, park, hitch back to point of beginning and walk back. This way I'll only have to worry about hitching one way instead of two ways. that will help enormously.

I'm looking in to borrowing a bike and pedaling across Saskatchewan. Thats about 450 miles. Right now I'm about 650 miles behind schedule and this would narrow that gap to about 200-250 which would allow me to cover the continent in the time the city gave me to accomplish my goals. I'd hoped to get home by the first of September but now it looks like the last week.

Dan Henry is going to spend a week walking with me in northern Minnesota and southern Manitoba to do some stories for KHNS and NPR. Cool beans man! Hopefully together we can generate some more cash for the clinic.

The weather is still holding up. Temperatures are almost winterlike..Highs in the low 30's, lows in the low 20's. Some snow but nothing impressive. I've been so lucky this winter. I wonder if it will last? I thought I had a lot of press stuff set up in the Chicago area but nothing came to pass. WGN TV (whowas thought to be a lock for at least one story) and Chicago''s two major newspapers all passed. bummer, the few times I've managed to get something about the event published or broadcast there's always a small infusion of money to the clinic and people contacting with me offers of vehicle support. So when on those rare occasion when it does happen, it makes you appreciate the kindness of folks even more.

While walking through Chicago, Jamie walked all day Monday with me. We took a side trip to Wrigley Field. Cool Stadium. It really is right in the middle of a neighborhood. Tim and his wife Katie live not to far from there. I did'nt know that until two days later. So, that's it for now. Next report will be from somewhere west of Madison. I miss home so much.

Take care..